Following the announcement of Ken Griffey's retirement yesterday reminded me of a passage I read in Ron White's book, "22 Success Lessons from Baseball." Not only should you work hard, but enjoy the work -- there's no guarantee as to how long the ride will last...
Willie Mayes, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Kirk Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Buddy Bell, Goose Gossage, “Oil Can” Boyd, “Dizzy” Dean and Jackie Robinson. These are all phenomenal baseball players. They also have one thing in common. There is one thing that is true about every single one of them. They are probably many things, but will you think of this one?
One of the common threads these men possess is that their baseball careers are over and for many of them their lives are over. Each of these men is mortal. Each of these men reached a time in their career when they could no longer compete at a high level because their bodies began to rebel against the work regiment and challenges. Some could no longer throw a ball fast enough to zoom past Major League hitters who seems to be getting younger and younger. Many found themselves swinging too late all too often at pitches they once could hit with ease. Their eyes refused to give them a clear picture of where the ball was going and their legs appeared asleep as they scampered to beat out a slow grounder.
Your time will come, just like it did for the Babe, Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan and every other player who set foot on the baseball diamond. One day your flesh and bones will be spent. Make the most of every time at bat and every game. Give it your best every day and when you are done, hope your life shows that you did.
Play fast, play the game right, work hard, touch all the bases, and have fun, because one day, you won’t be able to.